This study investigates the strength of the ethnolinguistic vitality of different languages in Adama, Jimma and Sabata towns, mainly based on the objective of ethnolinguistic vitality score. A corpus of 900 signs were collected from the three towns, 300 signs each. The informational contents of the languages on signs were observed. Data were also collected using in depth interview with five linguistic landscape actors living in each town. Then the signs were given a value based on the presence and amount of information, and analyzed quantitatively. Ethnolinguistic vitality score system was used as analytical frame. Moreover, the collected signs were also analyzed qualitatively from the power and ideology perspective. The study reveals that Amharic scores the highest etnolinguistic vitality score in the three of Oromia towns, followed by English. Afan Oromo’s (Oromo Language) etnolinguistic score is the least, despite the fact that it is the regional government’s official working language.
Key words: Linguistic landscape, etnolinguistic vitality, critical discourse analysis, language shift, sign, Oromia.
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